Whether you became a mother through adoption, a long awaited pregnancy, or a surprise pregnancy, going through secondary infertility is painful and difficult. Here are a few things to know about experiencing secondary infertility after you already have a child or children.
1. Don’t feel guilty for wanting more children.
You may look around you at couples who desperately want to become parents and don’t have any children yet, and think to yourself, “Am I being selfish for wanting more children? I should just be happy with the one(s) I already have.” It is not selfish to want to grow your family, no matter how many children you already have. Wanting more children does not mean that you do not love or appreciate the children you already have.
2. The pain may be all too familiar.
If you’ve been through this before and ended up adopting or getting pregnant after a long, painful wait, you may be thinking, “I can’t do this again.” Having a child kills the pain instantly that you felt from not being a parent when you wanted to be one. You’re finally a mother! But it doesn’t cure the pain of infertility. It most likely will ease the pain substantially, but often times, it will still be a little pin prick in the back of your mind. The worry that the pin prick will turn back into a hammer if you open your mind to wanting more children is a legitimate concern. If it was worth the pain the first time though, won’t it be worth it again? Hang in there. Push forward.
3. People can be nosey.
“So… when is he going to be a big brother?” “Are you working on putting your papers in for another one?” “Remember, you don’t want to wait too long, or they’ll be too far apart in age!” These are just a few of the comments you will most likely hear after having a child. When you were dating, people wanted to know when you would get married. When you got married, people then started asking you when you would start your family. You brought home your baby and were enjoying being a new parent and people want to know when you’re going to have another. Just know that your family size and timing that children come into your family is your business and you don’t need to explain a thing to anyone. Having one child is not a bad family size. It’s not a necessity to have a sibling for your child, even if others tell you otherwise. It is up to YOU. If your children are far apart in age, that is alright too. All families are different, and yours will be just the way it should be. And it will be beautiful.
4. It was easy then, why is it so hard now?
Some women get pregnant so easily once or multiple times and then hit into the wall of infertility unexpectedly. Your body knew what to do in the past, what is the difference now? This is oftentimes referred to as “secondary infertility” and can be just as painful as those who experience it before becoming a mother. There are many reasons why this could happen. Age of the couple and medical conditions are the most common reason, but oftentimes, it is unexplainable. Find an experienced fertility specialist and don’t be afraid to ask questions and get help.
5. Money Money Money
Finding ways to save money for adoption or infertility treatments may be harder this time.
When you were just a couple saving up money to grow your family you were making a double income. Your insurance costs were just for the two of you. Food, clothing, house size. . .it was all about the two of you. Now you have a child and things have most likely changed financially for you. You may be living on a single income now, have higher insurance payments, a bigger house payment or rent, diapers, formula, baby food, medical bills, day care expenses, dance and soccer lessons, and a larger car payment may have changed things a little in your bank account since the last time you went through this. Keep in mind it may take longer to get your finances together to start on this journey.
6. Listen to your heart.
You know how much you can take on emotionally and physically. It will be hard going through the process of becoming a parent while you already have a child or children to take care of. Don’t let this overshadow the good times you are certainly having with your child(ren) today. Fight for what you feel is right for you and your family, no matter what that path may be.